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Reaching scale : The opportunity for volumetric modular techniques in the UK offsite manufacturing industry
The aim of this paper is to explore how modern methods of construction can theoretically alleviate some of the construction industry’s inherent and systemic problems, such as low industry margins, financial fragility and adversarial pricing models. By delving into what we actually mean by modern methods of construction (MMC), I want to emphasise the diversity of modern methods available in our industry and how the pre-manufactured value spectrum works as a basis to steer away from outdated and inadequate delivery models. Case studies from the UK will be used throughout to bolster my argument, highlighting the benefits of using MMC in delivering housing, as well as showing that MMC requires a wholesale rethink of everything from procurement models, to technological or digital adoption. After all, MMC is much more than just a modern form of construction — it is a total rethink of how we conceptualise, design and deliver.
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Michelle Hannah has 15 years’ experience working in the residential sector. Michelle began her career as a specialist consultant supporting Housing Associations and Local Authorities with Strategic Needs Assessments, as well as with their business and financial planning. Michelle previously spent five years with EC Harris/Arcadis as a financial analyst within the residential business, latterly heading up the financial modelling team, focused on providing clients with bespoke residential development consultancy advice and support in relation to site acquisition, masterplanning, planning viability and the raising of equity and debt financing. Michelle is an experienced project manager and has worked on a several estate regeneration developments from site acquisition, the planning process, subsequent procurement of the contractor and onsite delivery. Michelle has developed a deep specialism and strong market reputation within the Build to Rent sector and is the author of Cast’s report, ‘The Rental Space Race: The commercial impact of amenity spaces in build to rent schemes in the UK’. Michelle also leads on the business’ strategic research, both internal and external, which includes providing clients with strategic insight to alternative delivery models to traditional construction, as well as speaking at numerous external events around challenges in viability and construction. Michelle supported Mark Farmer in the preparation of the 2016 independent review of the UK’s construction labour market, commissioned by the UK Government, entitled ‘Modernise or Die’. Michelle is an ACCA qualified accountant.